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How to Shrink a Hat

Dec. 31, 2019


Is your favorite baseball cap feeling a little too loose? Whether it's been stretched out through everyday wear or it's always been too big (but you love it anyway), there's no reason to let it go. With a little know-how, you can easily size down your hat for the perfect fit.


If you have a polyester hat, putting it in the washing machine and dryer can shrink it. That said, unlike cotton and other natural fibers, polyester is a synthetic material that can be more resistant to shrinking. As such, the key to shrinking a polyester baseball cap is heat — that means hot water and hot air. Read on for step-by-step instructions to shrink a polyester hat and then decide which method is best for you.


how to shrink a polyester hat


Step 1


Soak the hat in the sink. Use warm water like you would to do the dishes. Wash the hat by hand with a pinch of laundry detergent. Any brand you normally use for the rest of your wardrobe will work. Remove the hat from the water and shake off the excess water after about five minutes soaking.

Step 2


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Step 3


Boil water in a pot large enough to fully submerge the hat.

Step 4


Dunk the hat in a rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Leave the lid off the pot. Remove the hat with a pair of tongs. Shake the hat over the sink until it is no longer soaked but still damp.

Step 5


Preheat the oven as you prepare the hat. Line a baking tray with paper towels, then set the hat on top of them. Once the oven heats up, move the tray into it.
Be careful when putting a hat in the oven. Using a higher heat setting can cause the hat to melt. Also, if you don't use paper towels, the bottom part of the hat will scorch and turn an unpleasant brown color.Step 6


Run the hat through the dishwasher if it needs to shrink more. Place it on the top rack and do not fill the soap reservoir. Use the standard dish setting and run the hat through the full cycle to let the hot drying process work on the polyester.

Step 7


Dry the hat in the sun.

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